Garmin – Cervelo
Garmin International (Zürich)
Assistant General Counsel
Sent by email only
Aigle, 18 August 20011
I am writing to you about an issue which has come up regarding the UCI World Tour and the participation of your Garmin-Cervelo team.
The UCI World Tour is a very important part of the UCI calendar, your team is a member of that World Tour, and in recent years the UCI have been working on a strategy to globalise the UCI World Tour. This is for obvious reasons, to further develop our sport, bring it to a truly global audience and indeed to give a valuable return on investment for our sponsors.
Following several years working in what you would understand was a very complicated negotiation, in November 2010 we came to an agreement with the Mayor of Beijing to organise one event of the UCI World Tour in Beijing, in October of this year.
In the spring of this year the teams, through their association AIGCP, decided because of a change of UCI rules regarding communication in races, to boycott the Tour of Beijing.
Though the two are not related the teams felt they could make a point with the UCI by boycotting the Tour of Beijing. You will understand clearly that the UCI cannot accede to blackmail by boycott threats so we continued a dialogue with the AIGCP with a view to finding a solution.
UCI put forward a compromise proposal to the President of AIGCP over a week ago but this still hasn’t been put to the members. Indeed I am informed that the Vice President of AIGCP Jean-René Bernadeau has had absolutely no communication from his President Jonathan Vaughters on the discussions between UCI and AIGCP. More recently AIGCP Board member Johan Bruyneel stated in a newspaper article last Friday in Holland “We want to hurt the UCI” and “my Radioshack team has no intention of going to the Tour of Beijing”.
It seems clear to UCI there are other agendas at play here.
Now despite the fact that the UCI is convinced its rules are clear that the teams are obligated to take part and that the terms of the Licence which is attributed to the Garmin-Cervelo team will be broken by non participation there are other concerns too.
The UCI and our partners ASO are the organisers of this event but it is not the UCI who are being hurt by this action.
If the authorities, up to the highest level in China are told that Garmin-Cervelo have boycotted their event, they will take this as an offence and it could have repercussions of a commercial nature. This event is being promoted by the City of Beijing under the direction of the Mayor of Beijing, Gou Jinlong and the word boycott has a very high resonance in the Chinese culture for different reasons and they will feel that as an insult to the Chinese people.
I can also assure you that any team who does not take the start line in Beijing will be brought before the UCI Licence Commission at the end of the year and risks losing its licence and all the associated benefits.
UCI doesn’t like involving sponsors in the internal affairs of our sport but in this case we felt that as a sponsor of this team, it was felt important that you should be informed.
Indeed I hope to see your team in Beijing.
Thanking you for your consideration,